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ADULT Stem cell therapies for inflammatory brain diseases now possible | News | MS Trust – Information, education, research and support

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

02 June 2010

A team of investigators from the University of California in Irvine (UCI) Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center have recently made important strides in the field of using stem cells as therapies for mitigating the effects of injuries on the central nervous systems.

The investigators managed to discover the mechanisms employed by adult neural stem cells, as they navigate through the human brain to the site of injuries, in order to fix the damages. This is the final piece to a puzzle that, once completely solved, could allow researchers to create new, stem cell-based therapies for inflammatory diseases of the brain, such as, for instance, multiple sclerosis (MS).

According to Center investigators Tom Lane and Kevin Carbajal, the leaders of the research effort, the answer to the riddle laid within the actions of the immune system. Details of their study appear in this week’s early online issue of the esteemed scientific publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The experts believe that the new knowledge, which also includes details about how transplanted stem cells get targeted to the location where they are needed, could help inform bioengineers in developing new stem cell therapies aimed directly at neurological diseases whose main trait is inflammation. Multiple sclerosis is the most notorious example in this sense.

“Previously, we’ve seen that adult neural stem cells injected into the spinal column knew, amazingly, exactly where to go. We wanted to find what directed them to the right injury spots,” says Lane, who is also the Chancellor’s Fellow, and a UCI professor of molecular biology and biochemistry. “In this study, we’ve taken an important step by showing the navigational cues in an inflammatory environment like MS that guide stem cells. Hopefully, these cues can be incorporated into stem cell-based treatments to enhance their ability to repair injury,” the expert adds.

In previous studies that Lane and his team conducted, it was demonstrated that therapies based on adult neural stem cells were able to improve motor functions in mice with chronic MS symptoms. This is why the group believes that the new work could have far-reaching implications for human patients as well. Given the new knowledge, it may be safe to hypothesize that using adult stem cells, and knowing how to target them to where they need to go, may help human MS patients as well. Lane is the recent recipient of a Collaborative MS Research Center Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

via Stem cell therapies for inflammatory brain diseases now possible | News | MS Trust – Information, education, research and support.

Bone Marrow Transplants Undergo Quiet Revolution

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2010)–Scientists are seeking a new approach in the use of bone marrow transplants as the procedure undergoes a quiet revolution.

The transplants are no longer used just to treat cancer.

Research is underway to reduce the risks so the transplants can target more people with diseases from ranging from sickle cell anemia to deadly metabolic disorders.

Scientists also want to learn if such transplants can be used without having to deplete the recipient’s own marrow supply first.

If that succeeds, bone marrow can eventually be used to treat a variety of diseases and ultimately marrow transplants can be used even when donors aren’t good genetic matches.

via Bone Marrow Transplants Undergo Quiet Revolution.

Non-controversial Stem Cells Can Repair Heart Damage | LiveScience Etc.

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

There are dozens of different sources of stem cells that have been proven safe and effective in treating heart disease.  https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/heart-disease-treatment/ Those below are one of many. – dg

Submitted by LiveScience Staff – posted: 28 May 2010 02:28 pm ET

A new and non-controversial source of stem cells can form heart muscle cells and help repair heart damage, according to results of preliminary lab tests reported in Circulation Research: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Investigators in Japan used the amniotic membrane — the inner lining of the sac in which an embryo develops — to obtain stem cells called human amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal (undifferentiated) cells (hAMCs).

“The amniotic membrane is medical waste that could be collected and used after delivery,” said Shunichiro Miyoshi, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study and assistant professor in the cardiology department and Institute for Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics at the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo.

In laboratory studies, the hAMCs:

  • transformed into heart muscle cells, with 33 percent beating spontaneously.
  • improved function of rat hearts 34 percent to 39 percent when injected two weeks after a heart attack, while untreated hearts continued to decline in function.
  • decreased the scarred area of damaged rat hearts 13 percent to 18 percent when injected after a heart attack.
  • survived for more than four weeks in the rat heart without being rejected by the recipient’s immune system, even without immunosuppressive medication.

The ability of hAMCs to convert into heart muscle cells was far greater than that from mesenchymal cells derived from bone marrow or fat, Miyoshi said.

That the implanted cells were not rejected is likely because the amniotic sac is a barrier between a woman and her developing fetus. To help prevent either of their immune systems from attacking the other as foreign tissue, the amniotic membrane between them does not produce the proteins that immune systems use to identify foreign tissue. This means the usual tissue-type matching (HLA typing) needed prior to transplantation would not be needed if hAMCs were used. Drugs to suppress the immune system also might not be needed after transplant.

The findings also suggest that hAMCs can differentiate into cells of various organs.

“If we had to create a cell bank system to cover every HLA type, we would need to store a great amount of cells, many of which would never be used,” Miyoshi said. “Because hAMCs do not require such a system, it would be less expensive and usable for all patients.”

Much work remains to be done before testing hAMCs in humans, said the researchers, who are repeating their experiments in larger animals and working to boost the number of heart cells generated by the hAMCs.

The investigators “are to be congratulated for their careful work that has brought forward a cell type that may offer the real potential for off-the-shelf cardiac myocyte [muscle cell]-based therapy,” Dr. Marc S. Penn and Maritza E. Mayorga of the Cleveland Clinic, wrote in an editorial in the journal.

The study was partly funded by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

via Non-controversial Stem Cells Can Repair Heart Damage | LiveScience Etc..

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